When it comes to processing feedback, I believe there are primarily three types of people.
Type #1 – Feedback Seekers
These people know that they don’t know it all and intentionally develop a strategic team of advisers to help them achieve their goals. They have no ego about asking for help and openly embrace wise counsel. Because they understand the power of strategic teams, they are happy to pay coaches, consultants, and mentors for their professional advice. Feedback seekers achieve success more quickly with less sweat and tears because they leverage another expert’s experience instead of trying to figure it out all for themselves.
Type #2 – Hearers but not do-ers.
Type 2 people are what I call the “yeah yeah” people. They hear the feedback but don’t do anything about it. These people may ask others for their advice but have no real intentions of considering the opinion that is offered. They talk then pretend to listen but all the while are thinking about what they’re going to say next instead of receiving the input. When something goes wrong, these are your “blamers” who believe the failure is someone else’s fault but ironically will still not listen to counsel and will most often repeat the pattern of not listening until they burn out for good.
Type #3 – My way or the highway.
With type 3 people, nothing gets in. These people are so focused on the implementation of their idea that anyone’s opinion (whether good or bad) is unwelcome. Despite the resistance, they push and push their idea not understanding why no one is buying into the success of the plan and why the team seems to be apathetic and just going through the motions unwilling to invest any extra effort into the project. These are your workplace bullies that no one wants to work for.
If you’re a type 2 or 3 and want to be a type 1, the good news is that it can be done. Put away the belief that your ideas are the best ideas, that’s just not true. Involve the people around you in your organization’s plan and embrace their feedback. Hire a coach, talk to someone you can trust. Needing help does not make you less of a leader; it actually makes you a better leader. Step out of that comfort zone of being in control all the time…it doesn’t get you anywhere.
Did you used to resist feedback but now love it? What changed?